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ONU recognized as Private University of the Year by the Washington Center

Art & Design students benefit from experiential learning

ImageOctober—The Washington Center (TWC) for Internships and Academic Programs, an organization that provides college students with the opportunity to work and learn in the nation’s capital, has named Ohio Northern University as its Private University of the Year.

ONU was recognized on October 1 for its strong commitment to internships and academic programming offered through TWC. From publicizing the program, to advising students of opportunities and assisting students with the application process, Ohio Northern distinguished itself as a leader among private universities and their placement of students with high-profile internships.

Ohio Northern was recognized at the annual Academic Affairs Awards Luncheon, which was held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., at the beginning of the month. Cokie Roberts, a political commentator for ABC News and senior news analyst for National Public Radio, served as the master of ceremonies during the event. She kicked off the night with a celebration of TWC’s 50,000 alumni, both undergraduates and postgraduates, committed to TWC’s three pillars: civic engagement, leadership and professional achievement.

Also during the gala event, Michael B. Smith (BA ’86), TWC’s president, spoke about the transformational experience of a quality internship, where students “may enter as interns but emerge as alumni with broader perspectives, stronger skills and real world experiences. In these times, The Washington Center’s work is part of the solution and has never been more important.” He also spoke about the role of partners and sponsors who help make so much of what TWC does possible.

The most recent Art & Design student accepted to the program was Andrew Adams (BFA/graphic design ’12) during the summer 2011 term. He interned for Winking Fish, a design firm specializing in effective communication solutions, including print and digital media. They work with clients to develop visual identities from the ground up or help organizations re-brand to develop better images.

Andrew currently works full-time with Winking Fish, located in Arlington, Va.

Ohio Northern has a strong relationship with TWC and has partnered with the Center for nearly two decades. The University encourages and supports students who wish to engage in internship opportunities through TWC. Members of the ONU faculty have served on the National Liaison Advisory Board for a number of years and have served as faculty leaders in TWC programming.

In the department of art & design, internships are an integral part of the educational program. They give students the opportunity to affirm career goals and gain experience in a chosen field while making invaluable connections in the profession.

All art & design students in the BFA program are engaged in a substantive professional experience. For art education majors, 12 weeks of student teaching are required for licensure. But for studio arts, advertising design, and graphic design majors, an internship or study abroad experience is required for graduation. In special occasions, domestic study in an approved program also may fulfill this requirement.

Typical sites for students have included design firms such as Winking Fish, public relations firms, advertising firms, museums and arts organizations. Some internships are paid experiences that help offset expenses and college costs while other internships lead to freelance work or full-time employment.

The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars is an independent, nonprofit organization that serves hundreds of colleges and universities in the United States and other countries by providing selected students challenging opportunities to work and learn in Washington, D.C., for academic credit. The largest program of its kind, The Washington Center has over 50,000 alumni who have become leaders in numerous professions and nations around the world. It was established in 1975.

Originally designated as the School of Fine Arts and later the College of Fine Arts, the art & design program was first established as an independent academic unit at Ohio Northern in 1878, largely as an outgrowth of course work in engineering and architectural drawing. Today, Ohio Northern offers both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with majors in advertising design, art education, graphic design and studio arts with concentrations in two-dimensional, three-dimensional and pre-art therapy. The department of A&D holds memberships in national organizations such as the National Art Education Association, College Art Association, Foundations in Art: Theory and Education, AIGA: The Professional Association for Design, and the National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts. The department is recognized in the second and third editions of “Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers” as one of the best creative programs nationwide. For additional information about the department of art & design or the University’s 2012–13 Arts Exhibition Season, contact the department at 419.772.2160.

image: Ohio Northern University’s president, Dr. Daniel DiBiasio (second from the left), accepts the award at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., during the awards gala on Oct. 1.